Something old is new again

>> Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Okay, so maybe this is stretching the terms "vintage" and "retro" but these windows are definitely OLD. I got them off Craig's List in winter 2008. A woman who lived just 5 miles from me gave them to me for FREE (my favorite word!) and she even drove them to my house and helped me unload them into my back yard.

So what does one want with a pile of old windows? Well, for me- it's another way to satisfy justify my sea glass obsession collection.

And just what does sea glass have to do with old windows? Upcycling. Wikipedia defines upcycling as the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. For my purposes, I take windows people are getting rid of and turn them into colorful pieces of art.

Here are some examples of pieces I have made in the past

My windows are all wood frame windows destined for the dump. I use paint that I find in the "oops" section at the hardware store and the glass is either sea glass gathered off local beaches or repurposed bottles, jars and glasses rescued from my own recycling bin and put into a tumbler to smooth the rough edges. The epoxy I use to set the glass is a styrene free product with no dangerous peroxides and no VOC's which means a safer environment!

I mentioned yesterday that I was working on a project for my sister. She commissioned me to make her an upcycled glass window to be given as a gift later this month. She's coming to pick it up this weekend. Here are some work-in-progress photos

The glue is still drying in these photos, so please ignore all the white showing through, it will dry clear!

So while I don't know that this is technically Retro or Vintage, I am linking up to Tracy over at Crazy Suburban Mom for Retro Tuesday and Coloradolady for Vintage Thingies Thursday!

ps- this is not intended to be an advertising blog post but if anyone is interested, the koi fish window is for sale and I do take on commission work! :)


Mee2 March 16, 2010 at 5:42 PM  

I love them. If I ever get through college I will probably make you a rich woman, lol. But stupid question: Do you hang them up on the wall?

Tara Beaulieu March 16, 2010 at 5:56 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tara Beaulieu March 16, 2010 at 5:57 PM  

Not a stupid question at all! I make them with the intention of having them hang in a large picture window (like in a living room or something like that). b
Because they're colored glass, the effect is like that of a stained glass window.

If you have a well lit room and a white or light colored wall though, you could still see the design really well on that too.

Glad you like them! :)

Amber March 16, 2010 at 6:52 PM  

I've done the same project, but used smaller picture frames and mosaic grout instead of the clear epoxy, which is GORGEOUS!

Here's what I've done:

You do beautiful work!!

Carolee ~ ArtPodStudios March 16, 2010 at 7:04 PM  

Wow!! Am loving this glass art!!! Applause..Applause :)

Tara Beaulieu March 16, 2010 at 7:23 PM  

Thank you so much for all the kind words, everyone!

Amber- I love the table you did for your mom and my husband really liked the storm symbol mosaic!

I love your idea of using picture frames, do you do anything to permanently secure the glass into the frame?

Maureen March 16, 2010 at 10:25 PM  

They look fabulous Tara! Really, really pretty.

P.S. If you're interested, I could consign one for you (in MA).

Mee2 March 17, 2010 at 3:37 AM  

Ohhh, I see. That makes sense. That would be soooo stunningly beautiful. I told my husband about these and tried to get him to take a trip up to Rhode Island (that is where you're at, right?) when we come to VA in June. He said heck no. Plus, I'm not sure the airlines would allow me to carry on a window. Dang. I would love one with a mystical sea horse with some seaweed floating around it.

Lisa B. March 17, 2010 at 10:38 AM  

Wow, your work is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Vonlipi March 17, 2010 at 11:26 AM  

Very beautiful work. It takes my breath away. It is so cool that you recycle all these destined to the dump objects.

Happy Cottage Quilter March 17, 2010 at 9:41 PM  

Wow, these are amazing! Very lovely.


LV March 17, 2010 at 10:04 PM  

You do an outstanding job with that glass. I have never known anyone to use old windows in this fashion. A very unique idea.

P. March 17, 2010 at 10:09 PM  

Those are outstanding works of art, and I love that you are upcycling and using environmentally friendly materials. Simply amazing!

CC March 17, 2010 at 11:02 PM  

What a wonderful,lovely way to use old windows. You make gorgeous works of art out of them. They're just beautiful. Happy VTT..have a wonderful weekend.

Amber March 17, 2010 at 11:08 PM  

"do you do anything to permanently secure the glass into the frame?"

Tara, no, other than the grout! That tends to hold stuff in just fine. :)

CollectIn Texas Gal March 17, 2010 at 11:53 PM  

Upcycle..reycycle...whatever...the windows are spectacular! Great design and color use. Makes me want to break glass and glue it back together! Wonderful post for for me!

Postcardy March 18, 2010 at 8:16 AM  

That looks like a fun and creative way to use old windows.

thasnifty March 18, 2010 at 8:20 AM  

oh they are beautiful. You are really talented. Wow. I love that your art is green too!

Happy VTT too
-brightest blessings-

The Crazy Suburban Mom March 18, 2010 at 8:36 AM  

Did I mention how much I love beach glass? Probably 1000 times already.... you sick of me yet? so glad I found you tara :)

Happy VTT

Elizabeth March 18, 2010 at 10:05 AM  

These are really lovely - and what a great way of upcycling!

Debbie March 18, 2010 at 3:36 PM  

I love to see items destined for the trash end up used for something new. The window you made for your sister is so pretty.

Nancy March 18, 2010 at 6:11 PM  

What beautiful pieces of art you create. I love the blues and greens together that you used in some of the pieces.

Charlotte March 18, 2010 at 6:14 PM  

What a clever idea! So, all you are doing is gluing the sea glass onto the window pane? Smart!

Coloradolady March 18, 2010 at 6:16 PM  

I love this....and I emailed you!!! Have a great VTT!

AshTreeCottage March 18, 2010 at 8:37 PM  

What a great idea! Love it.

Susan and Bentley

Tara Beaulieu March 18, 2010 at 8:48 PM  

Thank you again to all for your wonderful comments! I am overwhelmed! :)

Maureen- sounds interesting, can you shoot me an email?: tara (at) scarboroughseashells dot com

Melissa, yes, RI. Tell hubby come onnnnnnn, RI is only another 8 hours by car from VA... ;)

Amber- I meant the pane of glass itself, that comes in the picture frame. Are you just relying on grout to hold that in or are you caulking it around the edges or something?

Tracy- never! You can tell me wonderful things and talk about sea glass as much as you like when you're here! :)

Charlotte- As far as adhering the glass, yes it's glued down, but then it's covered with an epoxy which hardens like resin would, so it's not going anywhere! Thanks for asking!

mallorymurray March 18, 2010 at 10:39 PM  

These are absolutely beautiful - you are so talented!

Becky March 20, 2010 at 8:20 PM  

Absolutely beautiful! Re-using is always great whether it's vintage or not.

Happy VTT!

rhonda shaver June 6, 2016 at 10:52 AM  

Hi my name is Rhonda I live in iroquois ontario I love your sea glass windows.I have done windows with stencils old glass plates coloured stones. But what I would like to know seeing as I don't live near a beach that I can gather sea glass pieces, although I do crafts with drift wood I gathered, do u know where I can purchase sea glass ? I'm about ready to loose my mind trying to find some where

Anonymous,  April 29, 2017 at 9:53 PM  

What glue do you use to place the stones? Does it have a sting odor? What epoxy do you use?

Anonymous,  April 29, 2017 at 9:57 PM  

I meant strong odor...

Anonymous,  May 6, 2018 at 8:31 PM  

Can you list or show exactly what type of epoxy you use? I’ve read several articles on resin and am confused as to which is the right one to finish a seashell and sea glass window design so it dries clear and looks like water. Thanks!

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